portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

alternative media

The sorry state of independent media in Portland

What is needed and how can we get there?
I can't believe how bleak things look in regards to independent media in this town. All the news this week about KBOO and the Alliance is bumming me out. But maybe it will help to transform things.

I have been frustrated with KBOO, the Alliance, and Indymedia for a while now. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the weaknesses seem to taking over lately, and the three mediums seems to do very little to compliment each other. I'm sure that folks have different takes on all this, but it seems like there are tremendous resources out there, especially at KBOO. But these resources don't really add up to too much. I'm tempted to go into my particular grievances with all three forms of media, but I don't want the discussion to go there. I'm much more interested in looking at what's needed, what's available, and what can be done to build a new independent media with the resources available.

KBOO 18.Jul.2010 12:13

Brian Setzler

I used to listen to KBOO all the time but not so much anymore. One of the things I used to really enjoy was the morning talk radio shows. This was an opportunity for the KBOO community to learn about and discuss a wide range of issues. The shows are still on but I'm so tired of the hosts who have been in the same slots for OVER A DECADE now (I'll bet the average is 15 years!)

I appreciate the passion and commitment, but I think KBOO and the community would be better served having new hosts for the morning talk shows.

All of us have biases and operate within our own mental models and I'm ready for some fresh voices. I'm sorry, but I've hear Joe and Abe, Ani, Barbara, Cecil & Celeste, Dave & Joanne's point of views ad nauseam.

I believe the situation of having long-term, nearly perpetual hosts in one of the most powerful and influential time slots at the station goes against the KBOO mission. KBOO is supposed to allow neglected perspectives on the air but how can that be when such a small group of folks control the guests and much of the content over such a long time?

I respect each of these hosts but am dismayed that one of our most vital resources lacks the ability to change so we might hear new voices and the neglected perspectives. The problem is not the people, but rather the system in place at KBOO that makes programming and programmer change so damn difficult.

Rather than just complain, I'd be love to find a group of folks who would join me in approaching the KBOO Board to make the necessary changes to alleviate this problem.

Good points 18.Jul.2010 18:42

Jim Thompson

Brian I agree in all respects. Having been a newsroom volunteer for a while, have observed that "change is not a KBOO value".

There has been an effort the past few years to make changes to programming, to improve the technical quality, to make more compelling radio. Changes are often met with opposition from embedded folks -- primarily the program hosts. They don't want to lose their slots and sometimes go out kicking and screaming.

On the other hand, there have been some trial changes in the talkshow lineup, and they have not always been successful. To be frank, it's hard to find good talent.

I've heard it said that if you want a show of your own, it's easy. Just wait for someone to die.

So, does this mean you are coming back to Oregon?

Too few niches? 19.Jul.2010 12:47


Old guard attacked by the whipper snappers. My take on all this is the need for growth.
The boo can only put so much on air. Perhaps another indy station could be created. I do not know;
but, it would allow more voices to be heard from. My analysis is this: more air is needed.
Perhaps a commercial sex/drug/freedom/music station could be spawned.

The old guard is generally a cool guard, random cohoast or substitution would be ok too.

However, how much of this is economic driven, how much of the contention is created to
take the boo down from the inside?

KZME : Local Radio, Local Music 20.Jul.2010 14:45

Jim Lockhart

For the Portland listening area, the Gresham Public Access station, Metro East Community Media, will soon be launching a radio station dedicated to broadcasting local music, supporting local arts and culture, and sharing information about east county public affairs. The station is scheduled to go on the air in late 2010.
KZME: Music Where You Live

From their website.
As a non-commercial station, KZME will not air advertising and will be supported by listeners, business partners, special events and various grant funding.

MetroEast Community Media, along with a coalition of community groups, received word on May 6, 2008 that its application for a non-commercial, educational (NCE) radio station had been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

MetroEast Community Media administers eight cable channels and offers video production workshops, providing individuals, community groups and non-profit organizations a way to discuss community issues through video. As our parent organization, it provides administrative assistance and technical support, namely in the production of promotional spots for our media partnerships.

The KZME transmitter will be located on Mt. Hood in Brightwood and the studio will be located in Gresham. A translator was purchased in 2009. The broadcast area will reach most of the east metro and Portland metro areas.

What is Local?
Here's a list of how we will define 'local':

Music written by local artists, performed by local artists, played in a local venue.
Music played by local artists in a local venue.
Music written by local artists, played by local artists in a non-local venue.
Music played in a local venue by non-local musicians.
Music that was influenced by a local musician.
Music that was recorded in a local studio.
Music distributed by a local label.
Music that 'sounds' like it came from Portland or belongs in Portland.
Music, that in some way, reflects local values, history or landscape.

In addition, it is our intention to play music not already well represented on the local dial.

Phone: 503-667-8848, ext. 335